Have you ever been afraid of stepping out of your comfort zone? Have you ever made excuses for why you can’t do something? Have you ever felt inadequate, insecure and afraid? Moses is a man in the Bible who felt the same way. Just like us he struggled with insecurity and fear. When God came to him to ask him to lead the His people out of slavery, Moses made lots of excuses for why he wasn’t qualified.
Why was Moses so afraid?
Moses grew up in Egyptian royalty, adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter. He grew up having plenty — not needing anything. He must have felt secure and loved and confident in who he was and his position in life. But something changed that threatened his security, his identity. There was one moment in time when his entire perception of “who he thought he was” came crashing down around him. We all know the story. At some point he figured out that he was not born an Egyptian, like he had been told, but a slave. He had been lied to.
This must have been a huge blow to Moses’s ego. Life was going along great until that one moment. In an instant, his life was turned upside down. Moses must have felt confused and numb, even angry. Everything he knew to be true was a lie. I’m sure he started to question himself, his identity, his purpose in life. This crises shook his confidence to the core, the very foundation of his identity. Perhaps for the first time Moses felt insecure. He didn’t know who to trust anymore. His confusion quickly turned into chaos. Filled with anger, Moses killed a man when he confronted the injustice he saw. Out of fear, he ran away. He fled from the place of his greatest pain. The next time we found Moses was out in the desert. His confidence was gone. His purpose was in question. He was resigned to believing that the best years of his life are behind him. He looked defeated.
There was a time in my life when something happened that was so devastating, that I felt like my world had been turned upside down. At first, I was numb. I did not see it coming. I was totally unprepared for it. I remember walking around in a daze trying to pull myself together and make sense of it all. I had periods where I was angry. Later my anger turned to sadness. Most of the time, however, I was just confused. I tried to wrap my brain around what had happened, and why, and how it could have been prevented. I became fearful of the future. My confidence was shaken. I began to question everyone and everything. I remember wanting to run away and leave it all behind. But nothing could take away my pain. My pain was so deep, it had devastated me. I felt like giving up. I felt a lot like Moses.
But God was not done with Moses yet.
What did Moses do in the desert? We don’t know for sure, but I bet he grieved over all that he had lost. He reflected on what had happened, what had gone wrong and why. I’m sure he had questions, just like any of us. He questioned himself and others, even God. I’m sure he had periods of despair and sorrow, along with times of quietness and rest. In the desert, God gave Moses time to grieve. God gave Moses time to rest.
But when it was time to move on, God appeared to Moses in a burning bush with a new assignment. Moses’ answers show us just how devastating the ordeal was for him and how much his confidence had been shaken. Moses comes up with 5 excuses for why he cannot do what God was asking of him. Each excuse reveals a lie that Moses believed about himself.
To continue the discussion, check back later to find out what 5 excuses Moses made to God and how we can make those same excuses. We may discover, like Moses, that because of our pain we’ve believed some lies about ourselves that God is wanting to challenge.